Something that's caused me a lot of regret down the years has been the disconcerting ease with which I've managed to lose touch and drift away from various friends and acquaintances - especially in them black-and-white days before the web.
Back in 1994 I published the first - and only - issue of a small-press comic called Bliss. It was mostly stuff I'd written (illustrated by myself and a couple of other people), but it also included an Olaf Stapledon-style prose story: A Short History of the Future by Darryl Cunningham.
I'd become aware of Darryl's work a few years earlier when enthusiastic reviews pointed me towards Blood Relatives - a 48-page comic he published in 1989. The story was a visceral tale of the disturbingly close relationship between a brother and sister and its destructive consequences.
Darryl's stark, angular style of illustration perfectly suited the hard-edged material, and his writing was forceful, perceptive and rich in imagery.
He rapidly became one of my favourite comic creators, and we met through mutual friends at a couple of conventions in the mid-90s. However, I drifted away from the small press comics scene around the turn of the millennium and I lost track of how Darryl's work was developing.
Happily, Darryl seems - after a couple of ups and downs - to be getting on fine without my attention. Blank Slate Books has recently published his Psychiatric Tales - a nicely packaged hardback collection of pieces on mental health that he posted originally - in slightly different form - on his blog.
Drawing on his experiences as a psychiatric care assistant and trainee nurse, he examines various forms of mental illness. However, the book really comes to life in its revealing and moving final chapter, 'How I Lived Again', in which he relates his own mental health issues and how he has emerged from them.
The Guardian's graphic novel of the month, and hopefully it'll receive a lot more recognition for the light it shines on areas that are still too often treated as taboo.
I'm really pleased that Darryl is finding contentment as a person and fulfillment as an artist. Check out his blog - Darryl Cunningham Investigates - to see more of his work as a cartoonist, illustrator, photographer and sculptor.